Like most areas in life, you are not born a savvy traveler; smart travel comes with experience and with making a lot of travel mistakes! Some traveling mishaps can be avoided and some of them are just a part of traveling. You cannot plan for everything, however, keeping a few things in mind will make your travels more enjoyable and make you a better traveler.
Now that things are opening up once again, I want to start booking trips and visiting new places. These smart tips to improve your traveling experience will enable you to save money, sleep better, and be safe.
1. Do Your Research
When you are planning a holiday, you are going to want to find the best deal when it comes to flights and accommodation. The best way to do that is to investigate deals from different travel companies as well as independent travel sites.
When traveling, research can significantly impact your time for the better. Researching prior to setting off can give you deep insights into the area, telling you places to avoid and places that you must go.
When you have settled on a destination, here are some things that you should research:
- What are the country’s visa requirements?
- What’s the weather/climate going to be like?
- Are there any public holidays going on?
- What is the tipping etiquette?
- What clothing is culturally appropriate?
As well as being completely relaxed before you even leave, being prepared to travel in advance will make your time in-country a more joyful experience as you will have reduced any potential risks. Here are 5 things you should research when you have chosen a destination:
- Currency and exchange rates
- Mode of transportation
- Culture – what is acceptable and what is not
2. Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance can give you extra protection if our holiday doesn’t go ahead as planned especially when it comes to the COVID pandemic. It is particularly important to take out travel insurance if you are traveling independently because you may find yourself stranded due to unforeseen traveling problems.
If you are planning to engage in holiday activities such as water sports, it is vital that you check that your insurance policy covers you for activities like diving for example.
3. Make A Packing List
Before your trip, you should make a list of everything you need to pack. Writing a packing list is a great way to stay organised whilst traveling. It is important to write a list so that you do not forget vital travel documents and essentials that you will need. Using a list when you are getting ready to pack can save you time as well as reduce stress.
4. Stay Near Or At The Airport The Night Before
If your funds allow staying overnight either at or near the airport, you’ll start your holiday a little earlier! Instead of rushing to the airport on the day of your flight, you can relax and have a slower start to your day. You will be able to eliminate the stress and worry of being stuck in traffic or missing your train.
5. Take A Credit Card For Emergencies
Disasters can happen. It is always a good idea to have a backup in case you lose your card or even worse, you are robbed. You do not want to be stuck somewhere without access to your funds. It is important that you check your bank when it comes to withdrawing money abroad to ensure that you do not incur any fees. Also, let your card company know that you are traveling and where you are going before you leave. This will enable them to track any fraudulent activity on your account.
6. Take The Correct Plug Adapters
Different countries have different plug sockets, so ensure that you have the right one – do your research! Better still, invest in a universal adapter (covers all sockets worldwide), so that you don’t need to worry. You don’t want your camera, phone, or electric toothbrush to run out of charge!
7. Make Extra Copies Of Your Passport And Important Documents
Don’t forget to email yourself a copy as well. You never know when you might need to have some sort of documentation with you as you may not want to carry the originals. Additionally, if your passport is stolen, having a copy will be helpful for your police report and any trips to the embassy that you may need to make.
8. Don’t Forget An Extra Camera Battery
You never want to reach for your camera to take a photograph of a memorable moment and realize that your camera battery is dead. By bringing an extra battery, you can always ensure that you have one on charge and you can alternate. That way, you’ll always be ready to capture those favorite moments!
9. Roll Your Clothes!
The best way to prevent creases and make the most of your space is to roll your clothes. Lay tops face down, fold in the sleeves, and roll from the bottom up. For trousers, put the legs together and roll from the waist down. Place your shoes and heavier items in first and place your clothes around them. Alternatively, once you’ve rolled your clothes, put them in packing cubes – another space saver.
10. When You Go Out, Take Only What You Need
You should limit the amount of cash and bank cards you carry with you, so if something does go wrong, you can easily recover.
11. Drink Responsibly
This has to be one of the most important safety tips for travelers. There is nothing wrong with exploring the local nightlife. However, keep in mind that it’s even more important to drink responsibly when abroad. When you are away from home, you are more likely to get lost or end up in a dangerous neighborhood. Keep an eye on your drink at all times and don’t accept any from strangers.
12. Make Sure That You Know The Phone Number For The Emergency Services
Be sure to look up the emergency services number for your destination, even before you get there. It is also a good idea to look up the number for your home country’s nearest embassy before you leave. Save them in your phone, so you will have easy access to them in the event of an emergency.
What Are Your Travel Tips?
These are my top 12 travel tips to help you have a safe, enjoyable, and stress-free holiday. What is one travel tip you would give? I’d love to hear in the comments.
This post was written by Lauren, Bournemouth Girl. She is a creative and personal development blogger from Bournemouth, England. Lauren is a lover of travel among other things.